Hi Jackie, thanks so much for joining us today! Now that we've got you in the Spotlight, let's get right to the questions.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you "grew up"?
I wanted to be a writer. From the time I learned how to read, I pretty much knew that writing books was what I wanted to do for a living. My dad was more pragmatic. He told me I would need to get a day job, because writing is more about passion than the paycheck. So, I took his advice and earned a degree in journalism. To this day, I continue to use it freelancing for newspapers, but my main gig is writing books.
When was that point in your life that you realized that being an author was no longer going to be just a dream but a career you were going to turn into reality?
After True Love, Inc. was nominated for a RITA, I went to New York for the awards ceremony (RWA’s conference was in the Big Apple that year). There, I met with the senior editor of Harlequin Romance, who asked if I would like to write for that line. I’d been published through Silhouette Romance. I said yes and not long after found myself writing three books a year. I’d been working full time at a newspaper and decided to take the plunge and quit. It wasn’t easy to leave a regular paycheck behind, but I have never had any regrets.
Do you have any ‘rituals’ you go through before you write?
Just coffee and lots of it!
What was your favorite chapter (or part) of If the Ring Fits to write and why?
The ending, because it meant I was finished! Kidding. I don’t really have a favorite chapter, but I liked “watching” Rachel become more confident and find her footing both professionally and as a woman.
How did you come up with the title?
Well, the heroine is a jewelry designer and I knew from the start that I wanted the hero to ask her to design the ring that ultimately would be her engagement ring. By the way, this was one of the few titles I offered that my publisher used. Usually, the editors and marketing folks put their heads together and I learn what my title will be after the fact.
What would YOU like your readers to know about this book or you in general?
I finished this book in record time right before Christmas. Then, between Christmas and New Year I wound up doing rewrites and final proofs. It was my tightest deadline ever and it nearly killed me. I was writing around the clock and trying to get ready for the holidays. My kids had band concerts and plays. Our tree didn’t get decorated till Christmas Eve. It’s no wonder that in January I wound up in physical therapy with neck and shoulder problems. I sure hope readers think the end result is worth it. LOL.
What's one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Don’t give up. Don’t lose heart. And don’t listen to critics – including your inner critic. Persistence does pay off. I could wallpaper my office with all of the rejection letters I’ve received over the years.
Do you have a favorite author?
I love Nora Roberts, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Tami Hoag, Janet Evanovich and … and … the list is too long. Whoever I am reading at the time, that’s my favorite.
What is your favorite quote?
Life expands in proportion to your courage. ~ Anais Nin
What genre of books do you read for pleasure?
Romance, of course. Especially romantic comedy. I also have been reading a lot of YA titles lately since I am the coach of the fifth-sixth grade Book Bowl team at my kids’ school. So many good books out there. No wonder kids still love reading!
What’s the most amusing thing that’s every happened to you?
I’m not sure I can pinpoint one thing. I will say that my husband and I love to laugh, especially when life isn’t so funny. I’m a firm believer that a good sense of humor can get you through almost anything.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I like to garden. There’s nothing like playing in the dirt to make you feel connected to nature. I also like to bird watch. I’m not a true birder. No binoculars. No journals. No trips to migration routes. But I love to see who’s dropping by my backyard feeders. Thanks for joining us today at the Cafe, Jackie and congratulations on your latest release, If the Ring Fits!
Thank you for putting me in the Spotlight, that was fun!
Also, check out Jackie's By Design Apparel in the sidebar - Too cute Writer's Wear!!!
Practical Rachel Palmer's aversion to risk-taking led to a marriage that just didn't fit. Now single again, she's embracing her newfound independence—and the first step is taking her jewelry business worldwide! For that she needs expert help from Italian Antonio Salerno….
His business help soon turns personal. And being in close-enough-to-kiss proximity to a sexy playboy makes Rachel feel she's taking a flying leap into deliciously risky territory. It's everything she's been craving…but this is a man famous for loving and leaving. Surely falling for him would be a step too far?
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